Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday appeared to backtrack on his party’s demands for general elections within 90 days of the National Assembly’s dissolution, as he emphasized that a fresh delimitation exercise was mandatory following the notification of the new census.
“The Election Commission should conduct elections in accordance with the Constitution,” he said, adding the PPP had “full confidence” in the chief election commissioner and all the electoral body’s members. “The country is currently going through an economic crisis and we should all worry about the economy first, rather than politics,” he added.
The former president also urged the caretaker government to complete projects initiated under the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) as soon as possible and put the country on the path of development.
Zardari’s statement follows multiple calls from various PPP leaders, including party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, for the ECP to defer the delimitation process and announce a date for general polls within 90 days of the assembly’s dissolution. Last month, some members of the party even suggested they could seek a legal remedy to ensure polls were conducted within 90 days rather than after the delimitation exercise.
The PPP’s demands for timely elections had drawn criticism from several quarters, including journalists, who had pointed out that the party’s Sindh government had approved the notification of the census results and it could not now claim that it believed this would not result in a delay to polls.